100 posts tagged with Paleontology.
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"The sale of this next lot will be contingent on a satisfactory resolution of a court proceeding dealing with this matter."

On May 20th, the fossil remains of a Tarbosaurus (aka, Tyrannosaurus bataar) were sold for $1,052,500. The auction was carried out despite objections from the President of Mongolia and a court order. The problem? The remains may have been poached.
posted by brundlefly on May 22, 2012 - 20 comments

Sometimes we don't know how important some research could be

Tipped off by an ancient poem, and supported by both historical and paleontological/geological research, Koji Minoura et al. found evidence of historic and prehistoric tsunamis[PDF] devastating north-east Japan just as that of March 2011 did -- and he had been saying for years that it could happen again. (via PRI's The World's science podcast)
posted by jb on May 15, 2012 - 13 comments

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

A group known as the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers have uncovered an unusual fossil (since dubbed "Godzillus") which is currently the subject of investigation and debate. Among the current questions? "Is it animal or vegetable?".
posted by radiosilents on Apr 25, 2012 - 37 comments

Who the hell is ‘Prof. Brian J. Ford’? And did he say this in 1900?

Aquatic dinosaurs? Not so fast!
posted by brundlefly on Apr 4, 2012 - 42 comments

PhyloPic: an open database of life form silhouettes

PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 4, 2012 - 20 comments

Ron and Tammy on the wings of a dragon

What happens when a Southern paleontologist falls for a creationist? According to Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, it might go a little something like this.
posted by yellowbinder on Jan 25, 2012 - 30 comments

We are the 98% ... of a theropod skeleton

The most well-preserved dinosaur fossil ever found in Europe was recently announced: a 98 percent intact juvenile theropod that will be on public display this month in Munich.
posted by jjray on Oct 18, 2011 - 24 comments

Dinosaur Feathers in Amber

'Dinofuzz' Found in Canadian Amber. Dinosaur Feathers Found in Amber Reinforce Evolution Theories.
posted by homunculus on Sep 15, 2011 - 28 comments

A History of Skeletal Drawings

A History of Skeletal Drawings: Part 1 - pre-20th century, Part 2 - Bone Wars to the 1950's, Part 3 - Dino Renaissance to the present. Via Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 28, 2011 - 11 comments

The walking cactus

Consider this animal, the newest fossil discovery from Jianni Liu in China. She calls it "the walking cactus." We have grasses and flowers and beetles in more varieties than you can imagine, and yet, in some deep architectural way, the developmental paths were set way back then, 500 million years ago. The Walking Cactus is just another souvenir of that crazy moment.
posted by jjray on Mar 1, 2011 - 68 comments

Women of the Royal Society and elsewhere

The Royal Society's lost women scientists. Women published in the Royal Society, 1890-1930. Most influential British women in the history of science. Women at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Heroines of Science. Women Biochemists, 1906-1939. Women in Science. Previously: The Women of ENIAC.
posted by mediareport on Jan 12, 2011 - 9 comments


Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2010 - 3 comments

Practical Paleontology

Darren Tanke has been guest blogging at Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings about his preparation of a Gorgosaurus (as seen here). [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Dec 2, 2010 - 4 comments

"I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless."

"The Science of Godzilla," by Tetrapod Zoology [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 9, 2010 - 16 comments

Digging for dinos. Live.

From August 2 to 18 there are fourteen Norwegian reptile hunters doing field work at the foot of the Janus Mountain in Svalbard, digging for remains of prehistoric sea monsters from the Jurassic period.
And it's all being streamed live, via four webcams. [more inside]
posted by Bukvoed on Aug 5, 2010 - 20 comments


"Like many paleontologists, I believe that T. rex was a hunter: a forest hunter. More specifically, I believe that T. rex used the very same hunting strategy that millions of forest hunters practice today: stand hunting from a tree."
posted by brundlefly on Jul 12, 2010 - 66 comments

Things That Need To Be On The Side Of A Van #328

Paleontologists discover the skull of a massive predatory whale (Leviathan melvillei) in Peru. Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 1, 2010 - 71 comments

Fossils from the future

Creatures of the Mechazoic Era. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2010 - 7 comments

Dinosaurs in the Deep

In 1916, Bone War veteran (and poet) Charles H. Sternberg loaded 22 crates of fossils from the Alberta Badlands onto the SS Mount Temple, intending to ship them to the British Museum of Natural History. They never made it. [via Dinosaur Tracking]
posted by brundlefly on May 7, 2010 - 5 comments

Young Indiana Jones Discovers Missing Link (maybe....)

"So I called my dad over and about five metres away he started swearing, and I was like 'what did I do wrong?' and he's like, 'nothing, nothing - you found a hominid'."
The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa. Some researchers dispute that the fossils are of an unknown human species, but others say they may help fill a key gap in the fossil record of human evolution. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2010 - 26 comments

Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway

Artist Ray Troll (previously 1, 2) and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, the self-described "paleo-nerd duo", have been working as a team ever since they took a road trip across the American West in search of fossils. In 2007, the pair published the book Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway based on those travels. Most recently, they have collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt at the Burke Museum (previously) in Seattle to produce a traveling exhibit by the same name. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Feb 6, 2010 - 10 comments

Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation

"These data revealed a surprisingly consistent pattern of decomposition throughout time. This pattern shows that as these modern fish decayed, their most recently evolved features -- those characters that are most informative because they distinguish closely related animals within the same lineage -- rotted first. The last features to disappear were more ancient; those that are shared by all vertebrates, such the notochord."
posted by brundlefly on Feb 1, 2010 - 11 comments


Conceived at the 2007 Flugsaurier pterosaur research meeting in Munich, pterosaur.net is devoted to the titular prehistoric reptiles. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jan 10, 2010 - 6 comments

There is no evidence that Quetzalcoatlus could see dinosaur pee with its ultraviolet vision, or that a herd of hadrosaurs could knock over a predator with their concentrated infrasound blasts.

Paleontologist Matt Wedel was a talking head in the Discovery Channel's Clash of the Dinosaurs, but was not very happy with the final product. The production company, Dangerous, responds. Finally, the Discovery Channel steps up.
posted by brundlefly on Dec 17, 2009 - 61 comments

BoarCroc! DogCroc! DuckCroc! Pancake Croc! RatCroc!

"A suite of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck’s bill, have been discovered in the Sahara." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Dec 14, 2009 - 53 comments

Ardipithecus: We Meet At Last

Ardipithecus: We Meet At Last. (Single Link Carl Zimmer)
posted by HumanComplex on Oct 1, 2009 - 20 comments

new flesh for the old fossil

Where art and paleontology intersect, there you'll find Viktor Deak.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 2, 2009 - 4 comments

Meet the missing link.

Meet Ida, the missing link. "Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that she could be one of our earliest ancestors. She is a remarkable link between the first primates and modern humans and despite having lived 47 million years ago, her features show striking similarities to our own."
posted by HumanComplex on May 19, 2009 - 51 comments

Puijila darwini Makes a "Splash" in the Paleo World

On April 23, 2009 Natalia Rybczynski, Mary R. Dawson, and Richard H. Tedford published their paper "A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia" in the journal, Nature, detailing their 2007 discovery of the species they have named Puijila darwini. The carnivorous marine mammal, which lived about 21 to 24 million years ago, was discovered practically by accident, but as a "transitional fossil" is re-writing our understanding of pinniped evolution. It could also be noted that it was most likely cute as all get out, and is already the star of it's own mini documentary.
posted by vertigo25 on Apr 29, 2009 - 28 comments

Fake fossils down through the ages

Stephen Jay Gould tells the story of the 18th Century German professor Beringer who published a book, Lithographiae Wirceburgensis in 1726 which purported to show remarkable fossils, including spiders in their web, copulating frogs and Yahweh written in Hebrew (high resolution images of the original plates: 1, 2, 3, 4) This turned out to be a fake but the conventional story of the humiliated Professor Beringer and his Lying Stones of Wurzburg is not as simple as the one usually retold in textbooks. And as Gould mentions fossil fakes are not a thing of the past.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 31, 2009 - 25 comments

References: Conway, J., 2009. Personal inspection of a real live dead Rhamphorhynchus, really!

"My cat dragged in what appeared to be an odd-looking bird. Imagine my excitement when on closer inspection, it proved to be a real live dead Rhamphorhynchus! I had to dissect it immediately! Unfortunately, my camera jammed, so I had to paint the whole process." - John Conway's Paleontography
posted by brundlefly on Mar 28, 2009 - 22 comments

Jesus Christ Dinosaur

The Jesus Christ dinosaur hypothesis for the evolution of flight (PDF).
posted by homunculus on Dec 25, 2008 - 40 comments

And people say that foreign film is inaccessible

A Dinosaur Paleontologist's View of Godzilla; fabulous views from Godzilla (previously); an alternate history view of Godzilla; a view of Godzilla's insides.
posted by mikepop on Dec 16, 2008 - 15 comments

Deft Palate

Two-hundred -and-forty million years ago, a recently-discovered amphibian hunted with a special feature: teeth in the roof of the mouth. [more inside]
posted by bonobo on Sep 13, 2008 - 11 comments

"Science is an integral part of culture"

The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive, an online library dedicated to the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). Includes an excellent selection of videos. And The Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive [still under development], which includes two of his books and his Harvard course online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 26, 2008 - 40 comments

Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara

Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara. "How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest Stone Age graveyard."
posted by homunculus on Aug 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Brittlestar Galactica

Tens of millions of brittlestars have been discovered inhabiting the peak of a sea mount in the Macquarie Ridge south of New Zealand. Strong currents are believed to be responsible for sweeping their predators away, more or less recreating their home 300 million years gone....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on May 19, 2008 - 21 comments

100,000,000 years

The little windows in the walls of time amber provides aren't always open. Opaque amber is common and, until now, has hidden away many fossil creatures. 100,000,000 years.... via bbc [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Apr 1, 2008 - 7 comments

Adventures in Balrog Math

Some Thoughts On Balrogs.
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2008 - 45 comments


The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs: How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark? See also Taking A Dinosaur's Temperature: Polar species heat up one of paleontology's great debates. And Bones To Pick: Paleontologist William Hammer hunts dinosaur fossils in the Antarctic. From Smithsonian Magazine.
posted by amyms on Jan 20, 2008 - 22 comments


John Updike writes about bizarre dinosaurs for National Geographic. "How weird might a human body look to them? That thin and featherless skin, that dish-flat face, that flaccid erectitude, those feeble, clawless five digits at the end of each limb, that ghastly utter lack of a tail—ugh. Whatever did this creature do to earn its place in the sun, a well-armored, nicely specialized dino might ask. " Besides the Updike essay there's a image gallery, an interview with John Updike [audio starts automatically], a dino IQ test, an audio critique of the way dinosaurs have been depicted in the latter half of the 20th Century [audio starts automatically], a closer look at the odder features of some of the stranger dinosaurs, an examination of the nigersaurus (images) as well as dinosaur wallpapers and jigsaw puzzles. [via MeFi's Own ed]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 30, 2007 - 26 comments

In Search Of . . .

Project Pterosaur The goal of Project Pterosaur is to mount an expedition to locate and bring back to the United States living specimens of pterosaurs or their fertile eggs, which will be displayed in a Pterosaur Rookery that will be the center piece of the planned Fellowship Creation Science Museum and Research Institute (FCSMRI). Although, sadly, it may not be real.
posted by geekyguy on Oct 29, 2007 - 20 comments


Ask a Biologist. "We think that kids don't always get the access to real scientific information (or real scientists!) outside of the classroom so we are here to do just that." One of the newest in a line of question-and-answer sites, this one is run by fifty professional scientists and directed toward school kids. Is is possible to clone dinosaurs? Why do I sneeze when I look at the sun? How many mutations do I have? How do polar bears keep their feet warm?
posted by arcticwoman on Feb 28, 2007 - 7 comments

Welcome to the world of ancient, eldritch creatures that will haunt your nightmares!

Welcome to the world of giant Cambrian predators! The anomalocaris is one of the ancient creatures found fossilized in the Burgess Shale in British Columbia, a particularly rich trove of fossils from the Cambrian period (543 to 490 million years ago), in which one finds not only the hard parts of animals, but also the soft, squishy bits. Some of the finds were so weird, that they got names like hallucigenia and odontogriphus ("toothed riddle"). Other sites for finding fossils of equal quality from that era are Chengjiang in China and the House Range in Utah.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 25, 2007 - 18 comments

Tracks of Swimming Dinosaur found in Wyoming

Tracks of Swimming Dinosaur found in Wyoming The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
posted by hostile7 on Oct 19, 2005 - 15 comments

Orsten - Microscopic Images of Cambrian Fossils

Orsten or stinkstone (it smells like rotten eggs), is a limestone nodule that has preserved Cambrian fossils extremely well. Scanning Electron Microscopic images of the fossils reveals incredible detail.
posted by obedo on Oct 9, 2005 - 8 comments

Bone Wars!

Bone Wars is an educational game that "simulates the process of creating a scientific hypothesis and testing it against new data" (A good thing to teach kids with people like these guys running around). The game is based on the legendary Cope/Marsh feud: a conflict that caused one Dinosaur to be classified twice and could make for a really cool movie someday.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 16, 2005 - 17 comments

Pliestocene Park?

Why no Pliestocene Park? "Everyone seems to assume that the primeval condition of the Great Plains was bison and prairie dog, with the occasional pronghorn herd, but no other large mammals. Yet for 1.65 million years, North America teemed with large animals: the 'pleistocene megafauna.' Then as the last ice age was ending and the first humans were coming over from Siberia, most of them died out." Sad -- doesn't everybody want a pony?
posted by namespan on Sep 9, 2004 - 15 comments

Look around you...

DREAM WORLD Given that green tea provides a more effective and environmentally-friendly method of preparing computer hard disks, pulsars are used to study gravitational waves with great precision, solar cells made from nanocrystals are found to be much more efficient, and scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known wildfire in Earth's history, 443 to 417 million years ago, it would be hard to make the case that what we are living in is not, in fact, a Dreamworld.
posted by mcgraw on Apr 27, 2004 - 29 comments

Coming soon to a museum near you: Attack of the Dinosaur Mummy! (not really though). This very rare, complete dinosaur specimen decayed in such a way that its skin remained intact as well as the contents of its stomach. It was presented yesterday at an annual meeting of scientists.
posted by mathowie on Oct 11, 2002 - 10 comments

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